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Rain Puddles and Boardrooms

Posted by & filed under Personal Growth.

Recently I went to a restaurant with some friends. After eating, we came out to meet a monsoon. When we arrived there was no rain—but when we came out, it was pouring.

The people coming out of the restaurant were shocked. They were complaining, being overly dramatic, and running around in panic.

I, on the other hand, had locked eyes with a little kid that was with us. We had both been eyeing a big rain puddle—one that looked perfect for jumping in.

Rain Puddle

The little kid’s eyes lit up with excitement. He saw all the possibilities. He saw the fun that was about to happen. He wasn’t worried about wet clothes. Or about getting the car seats wet. He simply looked at the moment…and celebrated.

We both ended up with soaking wet shoes and clothes. But we were the only ones who left extremely happy AND we created a memory for a lifetime.

Don’t Complain about the Rain

Sometimes I wonder at what age a little kid’s playfulness begins to evaporate. For some reason, it takes such a HUGE effort for adults to play.

They don’t want to eat a dessert first. They don’t want to jump in rain puddles. They don’t want to take a bad situation and see the good in it, the part worthy to be celebrated.

Every night on the news, we see horrifying images and stories of war. People literally running and fighting for their lives, using all their life effort just to make sure they have food and water.

And then we stop to complain about the rain. We have a mental and emotional breakdown over a late plane at the airport. Or a delay on the highway.

Are you kidding me?

There is enough trauma in life without adding drama.

It’s time to stop the complaining…and start celebrating.

You have too much to celebrate. You can’t seriously be complaining about a little bit of rain.

It all comes down to how you look at life: You can adopt a grateful view that makes you feel incredible about life’s possibilities. Or you can adopt the toxic “complainer” attitude that leaves you unfulfilled, frustrated, and annoyed at 65% of what happens to you.

Hold Yourself to the Same Standards as You Hold Children

If your children were complaining all the time…you would punish them.

If there were an “adult” over the adults—you’d see a lot more adult timeouts. The adults would have to answer questions like, “What are you thinking? Why are you acting like this?”

Because these are the exact same questions we ask of little kids when they complain and throw tantrums.

If you want to mature and grow up—then mature and grow up. You need to counsel yourself with the same instruction that you would give a little kid.

Good emotional control will not only serve you at the ticket counter at the airport, but it will serve you well in the boardroom as you take your seat of responsibility of guiding major companies… and even countries.

How to Turn Your Frustration into Celebration

Let’s say you leave a restaurant tomorrow—and walk into a torrential downpour. Or maybe your flight gets delayed a couple hours, leaving you to wait. You have a couple options: You can complain, dramatize, and cry about it…OR, you can find a way to create a moment worth celebrating.

You just have to learn how to see this unexpected time as an advantage. This time is your surprising gift today. Now you can do the most important things that you haven’t had time to do. That IS the gift.

Here are three things you could do to invest the time wisely:

1. Read. If you got a smart phone or an iPad you should have tons of reading material with you. Start reading.

2. Think. Write your thoughts down. Type your thoughts down. Complete the to do list. Add to your bucket list. Act as if you did have a solution to that problem that’s been gnawing at your brain for a long time. There is one, you know…

3 Walk. That’s right, just simply start walking. From one gate to the other. Up and down the aisles of the store. Watch people. Get in a little bit of exercise to calm you down. This is yoga and Pilates in motion. Do something to let off the emotional steam. This is the pressure cooker of your mind slowly releasing the steam.

Look how easy that was. Now you are being productive. Now you’ve turned something bad into something good. Now you can celebrate your downtime instead of complaining. Now smile.  :-)

Question: What do YOU do when you are inconvenienced? How can you turn those times into something worthy to be celebrated?

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  • Kimley Edwards

    Thank you! Thank You! THANK YOU! I share this statement often. Complaining is not going to change anything, rather I try to find something wonderful in the wilderness! Things could always be worse and we should take each negative opportunity and reinvent it…make it a special occurance! Often I look back at the undesirable times and see how it served as a beneficial segment of my life!

    • Shelley Hess

      Find Something Wonderful In the Wilderness.

      LOVE THAT!!

      Thanks Kimley

      • Thank-YOU Kimley and Shelley for your comments and insights. Og Mandino’s books are life changing. Last century Og’s books were written for that generation that still continues with this generation. Andy’s books were written in this century for this next generation to come. Both will have incredible impact on anyone that reads them. I encourage everyone to do so. Very excited that you are reading them, Shelley!!

        • Shelley Hess

          Ahhhh! I appreciate your perspective, Robert, regarding the generations written for, and to. And both also timeless, as is YOUR post!!
          1

        • Shelley Hess

          Reviewing your comment again 3 months later, I appreciate what you say about Andy’s books. I will add that I do believe they will also be timeless. Invaluable for ALL generations. In part because they are based in timeless, proven principles which Andy himself proves within the text!! Please check out my comment on Podcast 161…..

  • Shelley Hess

    AWESOME THOUGHTS, POINTS ROBERT!!!

    OK, you’ve heard it before, but it’s no less sincere this time when I say THIS IS YOUR BEST YET! You just nailed it, Robert, all over the place. The coffin. The cross. The Christian life. All of it!!!

    This post resonates sooo loudly and perfectly with my demonstrated flaws AND strengths, both!

    Whew, that little kid bad behavior in me really got it, and what a great picture you paint. I just LOVE this “If you want to mature and grow up – then mature and grow up. I’ll add the !!! for added punch. For those times I need this reminder.

    And the little kid ‘right’ behavior in me also jumps up and down for the sheer joy of it, remembering just how much everything IS a gift, simply for the searching, and then celebrating of it!

    I’m just finishing Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World Part II The End of the Story. Reading through The Ten Vows of Success of course dovetails perfectly with what you are saying here. Earlier this morning it struck me that the Bible says it, Andy Andrews says it, and Og Mandino says it, the latter two reinforcing, or saying it in another way. I marveled at how I have to keep hearing it. How we as humans need to keep hearing it. And having it reinforced. And I considered how many times I have to hear a thing before I finally ‘hear’ it with my heart, and move on it. Sometimes it’s the first time. Other times, well, I wonder when I’m gonna “mature and grow up”. You know I’m great with the progress, by God’s grace and not flogging myself. Just being honest with myself.

    Thanks for this incredible elixir!!!

  • Steven Tessler

    I heard a friend say on his podcast, “When something comes up that is an inconvenience just say, “That’s interesting””.

    When I heard that a light bulb came on. It makes sense!! It makes yo stop and think is this situation really that much of an issue?? Most of the time it isn’t.

    I also remember what my father taught me. He always says, “Only worry about it if it’s going to kill you.”

  • Robert – I pulled this up at lunch and laughed out loud when I got to the punch line:
    Here it is: Stop complaining.

    I backed up and read it to Joanne – and then we talked about how easy it is to destroy a great attitude by letting a little complaining slip in. I’m going to pass this along to my Mastermind. Even high performers need to be reminded.

    • Hey, Dan & Joanne!!! Definitely we all need a reminder. But do this often enough. Do it every single day. And soon it will become a habit. And you may be shocked at how happy you really are on a daily basis. Every day. And thank-YOU and Joanne for being a major ripple in so many people’s lives and for continuing to pass it on.

  • Thank thee Sir.
    I just finished the new version of the 7 Decisions last night and this really ties to the happiness factor.
    Find the puddles and have fun and maybe others will join in. If not, their loss.
    Shared this post.
    Thank you again.

    • Thanks for your kind comments and for sharing, Christopher!!!

  • Jim

    Last Fall, our oldest son and his family of came for a visit. My wife was busy in the kitchen, so when four of our grandsons came running in and asked if they could pick squash in the garden, she remembered the monster zucchinis that she had seen earlier in the day. She said, sure, but be sure to only pick the big green ones. They were elated, ran out to the garden, and started picking the biggest, greenest butternut squashes they could find; the ones that my wife had worked so hard to keep watered and weeded, and had been looking forward to enjoying during the winter. Not only that, after they had picked a bunch, they started kicking the stems off. A few minutes later, our youngest son came into the house and told me I better come out to the garden and make sure that what they were doing was really OK. When they said that Grandma told them they could pick the “green” squash, I realized what had happened, and got them pointed toward the zucchinis. I then went in the house to get my wife’s side of the story. She was beside herself when she heard about the butternut carnage, but I just couldn’t keep from laughing about a very innocent misunderstanding. As it turned out, the boys felt really bad, the squash ripened anyway, and we still had plenty to eat during the winter months. This year, as we were working in the garden, we found two of those butternut stems, and had another good laugh. Laughing really helps lighten the burden of my personal difficulties.

    • A great reminder, Jim. AND I loooooove butternut squash!!

  • Tom

    When things like this happen maybe it’s God’s offer for you to practice some patience.

    Andy said in one of his books that we should be grateful we have to walk out of restaurants into a rainstorm, because we live in a country that has quality restaurants as well as the ability to travel freely. So what if you get wet or your flight is delayed or horror of horrors canceled. If that’s the worst hand life deals you you got it pretty good my friend!

  • Mary Graham

    Thank you! And I’m one of the fortunate ones who has known you well enough to see you heeding your own counsel. You are the very essence of positivity! I love that! And YOU!!

    • Heeeeey, Mary!!!! I know if YOU had been at that restaurant, you would have jumped in the puddle, too. LOL That is why soooo many love you. Including me.

  • Renata Joly

    Summer rainstorms are among my favourite things. I don’t just create a moment to celebrate when the rain starts to fall – often I’m at home all cosy under my blanket on the couch. But in a summer storm, I’ll run out of the house to dance in the rain, and splash in the puddles, usually in my bare feet. And that means I’m usually out there, drenched, when the rainbow comes out.

    The thing about this post that strikes me the most is that I need to learn to transfer that excitement and joy I get from dancing and splashing in the rain to the find the magic in things that DO tend to irritate me. That’s a lesson well learned.

    • Renata, the first step in making this transfer, is knowing and being aware that it needs to be and can be done. I know you and many others will make this happen. :-)

  • Alicia Smith

    This paragraph makes me think of a quote that I love, “Let’s say you leave a restaurant tomorrow—and walk into a torrential downpour. Or maybe your flight gets delayed a couple hours, leaving you to wait. You have a couple options: You can complain, dramatize, and cry about it…OR, you can find a way to create a moment worth celebrating.”

    Quote: “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” Bob Marley

    So much can be learned and even enjoyed in the rain. :) It’s a shame to waste what could be a really great moment/lesson.